Newsflash: ice and snow are slippery. Now that you’ve recovered from the shock of that discovery, let’s talk about how to prevent injuries due to slip-and- fall accidents. They are no laughing matter. Not only can someone be seriously injured or killed, but as a property owner or manager, you can be legally liable.
Here are some valuable tips to consider in order to prevent slip-and- falls on your commercial property this winter.
If you wait until the forecast shows ice or snow, you’ve waited too long. Start with a thorough inspection of your property before it is snow season to ensure you’ve got everything covered. Identify the places where water puddles. These are the areas where you are likely to have ice patches. Check the sidewalks, parking lots, entrance areas, ramps, mailboxes, shortcuts, dumpsters and other common areas after it rains or ices. Wherever possible, make changes to prevent water from pooling in these areas to begin with. If that is not possible, plan to pay special attention to them during ice and snow events.
September/October is not too early to look for a new snow removal company. Your best bet is to find one you like and keep them from year to year. Be sure to show them your trouble spots. Work with your snow removal company to create a plan for snow/ice events (i.e. will you have ice melt on hand, or will they come before, during and after the event if necessary?).
Illuminate Your Property
The combination of both ice/snow and darkness makes the perfect recipe for a slip-and- fall accident. Reduce the chances of this by installing an outdoor lighting system on your property. Truthfully, you should have this for safety reasons apart from snow or ice. Outdoor lighting deters crime, keeps people safe as they move about your property regardless of the weather, and creates a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Make sure your pathways, steps, parking lots and entrances are all lit well enough folks to see where they are going and potential hazards along the way.
- Proper drainage will go a long way to reducing the potential for ice. If water doesn’t stay, it can’t become ice.
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to ensure good site lines.
- Be sure to remove dead trees and limbs. Ice can cause tree limbs to break and either injure someone or cause property damage, so make sure limbs are properly pruned.
- A good landscape maintenance company will include these sorts of things in their contract; they will be on top of these things so that you don’t have to.
- Areas such as steps and sidewalks should be frequently checked for cracks or holes which poses a threat when covered or filled with ice.
- Leaves on the ground are generally slippery (wet or dry,) so remove them as quickly as possible.
- Finally, handrails are greatly appreciated by visitors for safety. Inspect handrails frequently for any damage, which should be repaired as quickly as possible.
With some proactive work, consistent maintenance and a little vigilance on your part, the risk of a slip-and-fall accident is easily lowered. A good landscape maintenance company, and a quality outdoor lighting system installed and maintained by a certified technician are two great tools to help you keep ahead of dangerous conditions.
Check out a list of our Winter Services HERE
Located in Summerfield, NC Southern Exposure Landscape Management specializes in the design, installation, and maintenance of residential and commercial projects throughout the Greensboro Triad Area (High Point, Jamestown, Burlington, Reidsville, Oak Ridge, Brown Summit, Summerfield). We are the premier Greensboro mulch installer. With over 20 years in business, Southern Exposure has the experience and knowledge to create beautiful garden features and flower beds in the landscape. Southern Exposure is the leading landscape management firm in Greensboro, NC. With attention to detail and a solid knowledge of design, Southern Lights, (a division of Southern Exposure) has installed hundreds of outdoor landscape lighting systems and carries more certifications than anyone in the state in the state of NC and beyond. See why our clients choose us. Contact us today by web (online form) or phone (336.451.4969)